Tartuffe Essay

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In his most notorious play Tartuffe, Molière relates the story of an attempt, by a manipulative hypocrite, to destroy the domestic happiness of a citizen who, charmed by his seeming piety, has taken him into his home as a respectable guest. The play was disallowed after its first performance because it was deemed anti-religion. However this ruling was made unfairly since true religion is never confounded with hypocrisy, but is upheld with warmth, which shows his characteristic hatred of imposture in any shape.
Through out Tartuffe, Molière's play
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They never will attack a sinner viciously—
For it's the sin they criticize, exclusively.
Their zeal isn't excessive, and it never seems
The interests of God have pushed them to extremes.
These are my heroes. They're the men I think are great.
And they're the men whom I would want to imitate.

On first seeing Tartuffe performed in Versailles, the King immediately recognized and appreciated its genius. He understood that it was strictly addressing hypocrisy, however concern about the play began to grow as its performance moved to Paris. Molière's adversaries claimed that under the fake motive of trying to expose hypocrisy, he actually sought to undermine the foundations of religion itself. Pressure from the opposition, which included the Catholic Church, the archbishop of Paris, the Queen Mother Anne of Austria, and the Company of the Holy Sacrament forced Louis XIV to ban the play in Paris.
The argument could be made that The King's initial approval stemmed from the fact that Tartuffe includes patronage in the form of not so subtle flattery and references to Louis XIV and his family and associates, rather than the theme of hypocrisy versus sincerity. One instance of this being in the final act where the King's authorities come to arrest Tartuffe for a history of swindling people out of their fortune. The officer refers to his King as:
He sees things as they are; you'll find that wicked schemes
Don't take him by

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